World Pacifist and the Bhagwat gita
Meeting with the Governor of Bihar
Sri Abhay Charanarvindo Bhaktivedanta who is now at Patna on a cultural and peace mission, met His Excellency the Governor of Bihar on the 18th January and discussed with him on the prime necessity of starting a spiritualising movement without infringing the principles of a secular state. He said that the world pacifists who are now trying to bring in an eternal peace in the world by spiritualism, will do well to understand the difference between spirit and matter. We have heard so many times the pacifists speaking of spiritualism as the basis of world peace and we think it is our duty to say something of spiritualism as we find it in the Bhagwat Gita and as it is practically demonstrated by Lord Chaitanya.
Sri Krishna, the author of the great Indian Philosophy Bhagwat Geeta, has elaborately discerned materialism from spiritualism. From Him we can learn that the material nature of which we are now made of, is different from the spiritual nature of which we are(?) actually the parts and parcels. He has stressed most vehemently in the beginning of the Bhagwat Gita that the living entity is eternal and does not annihilate on the annihilation of the outward coverings of the gross body and subtle mind.
To understand this we must know it well that the material nature is conducted under three modes namely material goodness, material passion and material ignorance. Matter being completely different from spirit, it will be a mistake on our part to accept material goodness as substitute for spiritualism. The three modes of nature (material) work sometimes jointly and sometimes separately.
Prevalence of material goodness is congenial to temporary peaceful atmosphere but we must know it for certain that this sort of material goodness is sure to be disturbed by the other two baser modes. The example of the playing children may be given here. The children while playing together sometimes quarrel with one another and fight. But after fighting for some time when they become tired of such fighting mode, they declare some sort of peace with one another and promise emphatically that thenceforward they shall play with peace and amity and shall cease to hurt one another.
We may tell the pacifists of the world that the peaceful atmosphere for which they are now so much anxious, cannot be achieved by the dual process of fighting and peace-making attempt of the children.
The goodness of Mahatma Gandhi should not be misunderstood as spiritualism. Gandhi’s goodness exhibited as love for all, goodwill for all, tolerance for all and all such good and moral codes are not new to the world. There were institutions all over the world to preach all these pious qualities. Gandhi’s success was not therefore due to all these pious wishes only but behind these good qualities was his spiritual strength. If we ignore his spiritual strength exhibited by his actions, mind and intelligence and simply take up outward activities, it will not be possible for us to adopt his means. We cannot accept one half of a thing without spoiling it.
Spiritualism, real and scientific can bestow on us eternal peace and happiness but that is not material goodness. The world is tired of fighting tendency as by the actual experience of the two great world wars. The people out of fear of the havocs of the war are now trying to take shelter of Gandhiji’s material goodness of nonviolence but that is just like the fighting children’s peacemaking attempt. Real spiritualism is transcendental. This transcendental process depends more on realization than on resolution. The other day Dr. P. C. Ghose in the pacifist’s meeting said that unless they changed the whole outlook transcended the geographical boundaries and considered all people of the world as one there is very little hope for mankind.
This consciousness of oneness is possible by spiritual realization. In the Bhagwat Gita it is said that only the genuine learned person can see equally on a learned Brahmin, a cow, a dog or a Candala as one. We should not only change our outlook on all human being as one but we shall have to change our outlook on all living entities irrespective of the material coverings. The clear conception of changing such outlook is inculcated in the Bhagwat Gita. It is said that the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna is the life-giving force and thus the Universal Father of all living entities and the material nature is the body and mind giving Universal Mother. If we want to change our outlook, therefore, for transcending the geographical as well as corporal boundaries then we have to do that by spiritual process and not by any amount material goodness. This spiritual process only saved India so long from the poison of provincialism and in the absence of that spiritual process India have now began to think in terms of provinces. This cannot be counteracted by any amount of goodness without spiritual activities.
Nonviolence is therefore a process of material goodness against the (?) violence. Violence is a product of the modes of passion and ignorance whereas nonviolence is a product of material goodness. Nonviolence and violence are therefore co-relative terms under the modes of the same material nature. Spiritualism is the process of invoking(?) the lost relation with the Universal Father. If we stick to materialism and its different modes of goodness passion and ignorance, it is not possible to attain spiritualism.
Lord Chaitanya practically taught all people of this process of spiritualism by His novel and yet original method of chanting the Holy Name of the Lord as is AUM in the Vedas. His philosophy is a combination of monism and dualism simultaneously i.e. He gave the finishing touch to the philosophies of all other previous Acaryas by the exposition of His philosophy of acintya bheda-bheda tattva or inconceivable one and different simultaneously. By this philosophy He actually confirmed the direct teachings of Bhagwat Gita and made it easy and practical for even by the common man without any mundane education. He represented Himself for the mass of uneducated people particularly of the present age although He was personally the most erudite scholar of His time.
Spiritual realization through the studies of Vedanta and allied scriptures, is very difficult nowadays. But yet the supreme realization is possible by the transcendental chanting process in this age. That is the recommendations of Lord Chaitanya in accordance with the Vedic principles.
Gandhiji in the latter part of his life began this transcendental chanting of the Name of the Lord and his famous chorus singing of RAGHUPATI RAGHAVA RAJA RAMA is quite well known to us. Lord Chaitanya did not put any barrier to any caste, creed or color for joining this transcendental chorus of chanting the Lord’s name and he blesses all men to achieve the highest spiritual realization by this simple method. By this method of chanting every one will attain to the plane of pure consciousness. They shall be relieved of the pangs of a mechanical life of repeated birth, death, old age and disease. By this method of realization the supreme life of perfection by realizing God as He is, will usher in.
Mahatma Gandhi’s preliminary attempt in the following four ways namely:—
- Daily prayer and Sankirtana meetings followed by the recitation of Bhagwat Gita,
- Reorganization fo the temple worship movements,
- Upliftment of the falled people by the ‘Harijan’ movement.
- Reorganization of the Caste-system movement,
may be taken up immediately by the leaders of India. These movements if systematically carried on will help very much in the spiritualizing process. They can be given a real spiritual shape in accordance with the principles of Bhagwat Gita and other authentic scriptures. And by doing so India’s original culture will not only be revived and re-established but also will foster India’s indigenous culture in other parts of the world. That will be a sort of cultural conquest of all world by India. By such conquest the people of the world will get relieved of the so-called material prosperity terrorized by atomic bombs.
Fragment of an essay explaining the Yoga System.
Krishna Consciousness movement is the highest yoga performance by trained devotional yogis. The yoga system, as stated in the standard yoga practice formulas given by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita or what is recommended in the Patanjali yoga practice, is different from the nowadays practice of hatha-yoga as generally understood in the Western countries.
Real yoga practice means to control the senses and after such control concentrate the mind on the Narayana Form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. Lord Krishna is the original Absolute Personality of Godhead and all other Vishnu Forms with four hands decorated with conch, lotus, disk and wheel are plenary expansions of Krishna. In the Bhagavad-gita it is recommended that one should meditate upon the form of the Lord. For pracitsing the concentration of the mind one has to sit down in a secluded place sanctified by sacred atmosphere and yogi should observe the rules and regulation of becoming a Brahmacari who lives strictly a life of self-restraint and celibacy. Nobody can practice yuoga in a congested city and living a life of extravagancy including unrestricted sex indulgence and adultry of the tongue. As we have already stated that yoga practice means controlling the senses, so the beginning of controlling the sense is to control the tongue. You cannot allow the tongue to taste all kins of forbidden food and drink and at the same time improve in the practice of yoga. It is very regretable a fact that many unauthorized and stray so-called yogis came in this country to exploit the leaning of the people for yoga practice. Such unauthorized yogis even dare to say publicly that one can indulge in drinking habit and at the same practice meditation.
Five thousand years before Lord Krishna recommended yoga practice to Arjuna but Arjuna flatly expressed his inability to follow the stringent rules and regulation of yoga practice. One should be very practical in every field of activity. One should not waste one’s valuable time in practising some gymnastic feats in the name of yoga. Real yoga practice is to search out the four-handed Supersoul within one’s heart and see Him perpetually in meditation. Such continued meditation is called samadhi. If somebody wants to meditate upon something void or impersonal, it will take very long time for achieving success in the yoga practice. We cannot concentrate our mind on something which is voidness or impersonal. Real yoga practice is to fix up the mind on the Person of four handed Narayana in the heart of everyone.
Sometimes it is said that by meditation one will understand that God is seated within one’s heart. Even one does not know it still God is seated within the heart of everyone. He is not only seated in the heart of a human being but He is there within the heart of cats and dogs also. The Bhagavat Gītā confirms this by declaration of the Lord. Iswara the Supreme Controller Lord is seated in everyone’s heart. He is not only in everyone’s heart but he is also present within the atoms also. No place is vacant without the presence of the Lord. The feature of the Lord by which He is present everywhere is called the Paramatma. Atma means the individual soul and Paramatma means the individual Supersoul. Both Atma and Paramatma are individual persons. The difference between Atma and Paramatma is that the Atma or the soul is present only in a particular place whereas the Paramatma is present everywhere. In this connection the example of the sun is very nice. Individual person may [be] situated in one place but the sun, even though a similar individual entity, is present on the head of every individual person. In the Bhagavat Gītā this is very nicely explained. Therefore, even though the quality of all entities including the Lord is equal, the Supersoul is different from the individual soul by quantity. The Supersoul being seated in everyone’s heart, He can witness everyone’s activity past, present and future. In the Upanisads the Supersoul is stated as sitting with the individual soul as a friend or witness. As a friend the Lord is always anxious to get back His friend the individual soul back to home back to Godhead and as witness He is endower of all results of actions done by the individual soul. The Supersoul gives all facility to the individual soul for achieving whatever he may desire. But He instructs his friend and son that he may give up all other engagements and may simply surrender unto Him for perpetual bliss and eternal life full of knowledge. This is the last instruction of the Bhagavat Gītā, the most authorised and widely read book on all kinds of yoga system. The last word of the BG as stated above is the last word in the matter of perfect yoga system. It is further stated in the BG that a person who is always absorbed in Krishna Consciousness is the topmost yogi. What is this Krishna Consciousness? As individual soul is present by his consciousness throughout the whole body, similarly the Supersoul or Paramatma is present throughout the whole creation by super consciousness. This super consciousness cannot be imitated by the individual soul who has got limited consciousness. I can understand what is going on within my limited body but I cannot feel what is going on in other’s body. I am present all over my body by my consciousness, but I am not present in other’s body by my consciousness. The Supersoul or Paramatma being present with everyone and everywhere, He is also conscious of everybody’s existence. The theory that the soul and the Supersoul is one is not acceptable because the individual soul’s consciousness cannot act in super consciousness. This super consciousness can be achieved by dovetailing individual consciousness with super consciousness and this dovetailing process is called surrender or Krishna Consciousness. From the teachings of Bhag. Gītā we learn it very clearly that Arjuna in the beginning did not like to fight with his brothers and relations but after understanding the Bhag. Gītā, when he dovetailed his consciousness with the super consciousness of Krishna it was Krishna Consciousness. A person in full Krishna Consciousness acts by the dictation of Krishna. In the beginning of Krishna Consciousness this dictation is received through the transparent medium of spiritual master. When one is sufficiently trained and acts in submissive faith and love for Krishna, under the direction of the bonafide spiritual master, the dovetailing process becomes more firm and accurate. At this stage of the devotee in Krishna Consciousness, Krishna dictates from within. From without the devotee is helped by the spiritual master, the bonafide representative of Krishna, and from within He helps the devotee as Chaitya Guru because He is seated within the heart of everyone.
To understand therefore that God is seated in everyone’s heart is not perfection. One has to be acquainted with God both from within and without and has to take dictation both from within and without to act in Krishna Consciousness. This is the highest perfectional stage of human form of life or the topmost stage of all kinds of yoga systems. For a perfect yogi there are 8 kinds of super-achievements—one can become the smallest than an atom, one can become the biggest than the mountain, one can become lightest than the air, one can achieve whatever he likes, one can control over others like the Lord, and so on. But when one rises to the perfectional stage of receiving dictation from the Lord, that stage is more than the stage of material achievements as above mentioned. The breathing exercise of yoga system which is generally practiced is just the beginning of the system, meditation on the Supersoul is just a step forward, achievement of wonderful material success is also a step forward, but to attain direct contact with the Supersoul and take dictation from Him is the highest perfectional stage. The breathing exercise or meditation practices of yoga are very difficult in this age. Not to speak of this age, it was difficult even 5,000 years ago. Otherwise Arjuna would not have rejected the proposal of Krishna. This age of Kali is called the fallen age. At the present moment people in general are short living, very slow in understanding self-realization [several words illegible]. They are mostly unfortunate and as such if somebody is a little bit interested in self-realization he is misguided by so many rascals. The only way of realization of perfect stage of yoga practice is to follow the principles of Bhag. Gītā as practiced by Lord Chaitanya. It is the simplest and highest perfection of yoga practice.
Lord Chaitanya practically demonstrated this practice of K. C. yoga simply by chanting the holy name of Krishna as they are mentioned in the Vedanta, S.B., and many important Puranas. The largest number of Indian follow this yoga practice and in U.S.A. also it is gradually getting ground in many cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sante Fe, Boston and Montreal. It is very easy and practical for this age specially for those who are serious about yoga success. No other process of yoga practice can be successful in this age. The meditation process in right earnest was possible in the golden age of Satya Yuga because the people in that age used to live for hundreds of thousands of years. If you want therefore success in practical yoga practice take to the chanting of Hare Krishna. . . . . .Hare and feel practically how you are making progress. One can know for himself how much he is making progress in practical yoga practice. In the Bhagwat Gītā this practice of Krishna Consciousness is described as Rajvidya or the king of all erudition, Rajaguhyam or the most confidential system of spiritual realisation, Pavitra or the purest of all pure, Susakham very happily performed and Avyam or inexhaustible.
Those who have taken to this most sublime Bhakti Yoga system or practice of devotional service in transcendental love of Krishna can testify how they are nicely feeling about its happy and easy execution. Yoga means controlling the senses and Bhakti Yoga means [several words illegible]. We think in Krishna, we chant in Krishna, we live in Krishna, we eat in Krishna, we talk in Krishna, we hope in Krishna, we sustain [in] Krishna and we return to Krishna without any doubt and this is the substance of “Krishna Consciousness.”
Om tat sat.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Jan. 7, 1968
[lines written on left margins on pages 2 and 4 of handwritten copy
Page 2: Just think of Me, just become a devotee of Me, just worship Me, just offer obeisances unto Me.
Page 4: ‘Krishna Consciousness’ is not manufactured by any man by mental speculation but it is the injunction of B.G. which says “man mana bhava mat bhakta mad yaji mam namaskuru.’